Episode 46: Designing Contracts without Lawyers with Milva Finnegan and Anna Hurmerinta-Haanpää
In this episode we concentrate on contracts and how to make them more functional. We are joined by Milva Finnegan and Anna Hurmerinta-Haanpää who both have completed their doctoral dissertations on contract design.
Milva and Anna talk about the transition from understanding contracts as mere legal risk management tools to instruments of communication, and how to design user-friendly contracts that are fit for purpose. Our guests help us understand better the status quo in contracting. We talk about why so many contracts (still today) are mostly about managing legal risks, and therefore full of legal jargon. Contracts are typically understood as some sort of “weapons” or “risk management tools” that should try to safeguard the interests of contracting parties. However, in this episode we learn what other purposes there are for contracts.
We dive deep and talk about whether lawyers really understand the full potential of contracting, or did we just stop caring at some point. And what if lawyers weren’t the ones to design contracts and what special skills different professionals can bring to the contract design process?
Milva Finnegan, PhD, recently completed her doctorate degree in Economics in business law at the University of Vaasa in Finland. Her research focuses on merging contract law and contract design to produce simplified and usable contracts that all users can understand. She recently joined KPMG US as the director of the Client Contract Value Center. Prior to KPMG Milva ran a contracts consulting company, Karhu, LLC, for 10 years. Her company worked with clients implementing contract management best practices, integrating electronic Contract Lifecycle Management (CLM) systems, and taught workshops on how to redesign and simplify contract documents. Prior to starting her own company Milva worked at The Boeing Company over 12 years in both contracts and finance disciplines on various multi-million-dollar plus government and commercial programs.
Anna Hurmerinta-Haanpää is a University Lecturer at the University of Lapland, Faculty of Law. She defended her doctoral dissertation on the functions of contracts in interorganizational relationships in spring 2021. At the moment her research interests include collaborative, responsible and sustainable contracting. Besides her research, she is eager to develop legal education.
This episode is brought to you by Precisely – the CLM platform setting a new standard for digital contracting. For more information, go to preciselycontractsl.com/ldp.